Call to restore force’s reputation

Police Scotland's new Chief Constable Phil Gormley
Police Scotland's new Chief Constable Phil Gormley

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have called on Police Scotland’s new Chief Constable to sort out the scandals of the last two years and restore the reputation of the national force.

Justice spokeswoman and North East MSP Alison McInnes was speaking after Phil Gormley was announced as the replacement for Sir Stephen House.

The new Chief Constable has the opportunity to move quickly to address the challenges

Alison McInnes MSP Lib Dem: Justice

Mr Gormley, 53, had faced competition for the £200,000 a year post from two senior Police Scotland bosses, Iain Livingstone and Neil Richardson.

Her takes over at the helm of Police Scotland following criticism of the arming of officers, the force’s approach to stop and search and its delayed response to the M9 crash in July, in which John Yuill and his partner Lamara Bell died.

Mrs McInnes said: “No one doubted the commitment of Sir Stephen House to helping make Scotland safer but under his leadership the national force lurched from crisis to crisis.

“The tragic crash on the M9. armed police on routine duties, hundreds of thousands of illegal stop and searches, officers breaking spying rules to try and uncover journalists’ sources.”

She added: “The new Chief Constable has the opportunity to move quickly to address the challenges that Police Scotland is still facing. He will have our support as he does so.

“I will be seeking an early meeting with the new Chief Constable to discuss our plans to ensure police officers and staff get the support they need to keep them safe, reinstate communities’ rights to have a say over how they are policed and help restore public trust in the force.”